column, the roll-out of ObamaCare is suddenly raising questions about who actually will care for millions of new patients--especially the poor patients ObamaCare was supposed to help.
While warning that soon "many of America's newly insured [will] realize that they have to get in line to see a doctor when they need one," columnist Paul Howard for some reason can't bring himself to note that ObamaCare partisans "balanced" their program's budget on the backs of Medicaid and Medicare--a measure sure to inflame the physician and patient access crisis. Not surprisingly, nearly one in three physicians now are turning away Medicaid patients due to deficient government reimbursement.
Historically, faith-based physicians, hospitals, and clinics have filled the gap, motivated by their faith to care for needy patients. Such faith also requires practicing medicine according to life-affirming tenets. A national survey revealed that over nine of ten faith-based physicians say they would "rather stop practicing medicine altogether than be forced to violate my conscience."
Yet President Obama and ObamaCare bureaucrats have enacted coercive, faith-hostile measures such as gutting the only federal regulation protecting conscience rights in health care and mandating the provision of abortifacient pills even by conscientious objectors. Such discriminatory practices threaten to decimate the ranks of faith-based health providers.
As Congress considers long-term cures for ObamaCare, restoring faith-respecting conscience protections and reasonable reimbursements should be a top priority to help ensure health care access for the poor patients now suffering the law's ill effects.